Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Why Students Attending Elite Universities and Colleges Are Attracted To Socialism

The newest categories of students receiving preferential admission at elite universities and colleges are First Generation (households in which one or both parents did not attend college) and Low Income (households that cannot afford the cost of tuition and fees).  FG students make up as much as 20% of admissions and LI up to 27%.

Elite schools can offer many slots to low-income households because endowment income, annual gifts, and grants and scholarships from states and the federal government offset much of the cost of attendance.

The U.S. Department of Education (IPEDS) collects data from four-year colleges and universities and presents their full cost and after-aid cost in a standard format.

Average cost before aid:  tuition, other costs (books and on-campus room and board)

Average cost after aid

Average cost after aid by Household Income:

            Less Than $30,000
            $30,001 - $48,000
            $48,001 - $75,000
            $75,001- $110,000
            $110,001 or above

The most exclusive schools with the largest endowments and annual gifts are very generous, waving most or all expenses for families with household income below $75,000 and waiving tuition for those with income up to $125,000.

The table that follows shows the average cost before aid and the average after-aid cost for households with income below $30,000, between $30,001-$48,000, and $48,001-$75,000,


Average Cost Before And After Aid For HouseholdsBelow $75,000 in Annual Income ($)
Average Average Cost Average Cost
Cost for HI HI 30,001- HI 48,001-
School Full Cost 30,000 48,000 75,000
Princeton 61,860 1,348 1,771 6,224
Harvard 64,400 -230 632 3,392
MIT 63,250 7,432 4,727 5,247
Columbia 69,084 10,917 6,596 7,648
Chicago 70,100 3,620 2,289 4,672
Yale 66,445 4,978 4,392 6,896
Stanford 64,477 2,548 3,047
Duke 67,005 -1,070 827 7,805
Penn 66,800 7,755 5,323 12,968
Northwestern 68,060 6,416 9,054 11,480
JHU 65,496 14,236 9,384 13,448
Caltech 63,471 874 10,227 10,864
Dartmouth 67,044 15,604 7,316 18,324
Brown 65,380 5,335 5,459 12,181
Vanderbilt 63,532 1,168 6,043 11,146
Cornell 65,494 14,028 10,652 15,413
Rice 58,253 7,206 6,988 9,595
Notre Dame 64,665 8,838 13,451 13,979
UCLA 33,391 8,233 9,559 12,593
Wash.U. 67,751 5,716 6,580 9,528
Williams 66,340 2,780 3,795 8,188
Amherst 66,572 5,311 10,383 11,372
Swarthmore 64,363 6,120 4,422 16,603
Wellesley 63,390 8,204 9,948 12,150
Bowdoin 63,440 5,866 9,246 15,195
Carleton 64,420 16,366 11,408 15,350
Middlebury 63,456 5,141 9,505 11,186
Pomona 64,870 5,832 8,153 7,183
ClareMcKenna 66,325 7,089 9,083 7,182
Davidson 62,894 6,643 8,468 13,225

Students from families with income less than $30,000 can attend Princeton for an annual cost of $1,348 and only $6,224 up to an income of $75,000.  (A minus number means that the school is paying a student to attend.)  And so on in varying degrees for the other 29 elite universities and colleges.   No household with annual income below $75,000 pays over $16,000.  The cost of attending an elite school is lower than most state universities.

Why are students in elite schools attracted to socialism?  Socialism is redistribution of income directed by a government.  (Redistribution can be voluntary through charity.)  Many students attending elite schools are beneficiaries of redistribution.  It’s reasonable for them to believe that if America is rich enough to redistribute income to them to attend elite schools, it should be rich enough to redistribute income to everyone to bring about an equitable distribution of income for all.

In addition, almost every university has a Center for the Study of Inequality.  Faculty in these centers strive to identify the degree of inequality that exists in the U.S. and recommend  government policies to produce a more even distribution of income.

The growth in endowment and investment income, gifts, and federal and state aid that markedly reduces the cost of attending an elite school provides support for redistribution.  No amount of socialist failures around the world will change students’ minds.

How many students understand that gifts for endowment, gifts for annual expenditure, and government grants come from those who succeed in business in a market economy.  The top 10% of income earners pay 71% of federal income taxes and a comparably large share of state income taxes, which finances government grants to students.  Without the income and profits earned in America’s market economy and the disproportionately high share of taxes they pay, there would be much less money to redistribute.

Sadly, the well-to-do serving as university trustees are at the forefront of supporting the programs of redistribution that make elite education available to students from low-income households.  In so doing, they reinforce student demands for more redistribution (more socialism).  This situation will intensify in the coming years.


7 comments :

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